Hurrah for bars that throw open their doors and amend their insane roof tops for the colder seasons! That obviously deserves a “yay” and a twirl. Now aside from NYC, London has some of the coolest, most chic roof tops bars I’ve ever seen. Many of them are open top but even those that do have a cover (don’t sigh just yet), have the best views, menus and mixologists. Now this year, I have noticed a few newbies popping up so let’s hope they’re here to stay. Feel free to comment below and let me know your recommendations too, would love to know more.
WHERE TO GO
A Run Down Of My Favourites
1) Radio Roof Top Bar
I was super fortunate to visit the rooftop before the venue itself had its official opening. It was a Sunday Times Style 10 year anniversary party. From the moment we went upstairs and outside, I already knew it was going to be a place I’d come again as soon as possible.
Found on the 10th floor of the fancy ME Hotel is Radio Rooftop, a secret retreat. It’s right in the middle of London’s West End so super easy for pre dinner drinks or a night of cocktails before you get your cab home. It’s become a favourite of mine if I want to cosy up for one small glass of red on a Friday while I hang out and wait for my friends or fiancé to finish work. You can feel totally at ease if you’re alone (watch out for those pestering men though ladies) or have a whale of a time chilling with friends. Alongside impressive views of The Thames, their signature cocktails are some of the best I’ve had in London.
TIP They are also hosting MOËT MONDAYS right now. Customers can enjoy two glasses of Moët and served with pancetta wrapped stuffed dates and raspberry bass carpaccio, all for just £20.
ME London, 336-337 Strand, London WC2R 1HA
0207 395 3440
2) The Terrace at The Rosewood
For those who have already experienced The Rosewood will know just how sublime the venue is. It’s luxurious, tasteful and exudes glamour. The terrace is great in Summer and carefully switched to Autumn/Winter appropriateness with its heated seats, retractable roof and snuggly blankets. Superb for a first date. If there for brunch, try the awesome Chai French toast with some champagne. With attentive but not overtly fussy service, The Rosewood is one of my favourite places to dine outdoors.
TIP They have over 400 gins and 27 varieties of tonic so it’s the perfect treat for gin lovers!
3) Skylon Bar
Whenever you fancy heading down to the South of London or just want a quick tipple before getting your train home from the famous Waterloo station, Skylon is a good decision. Fuss free, unpretentious and with stunning views of the river, it’s always been a nice and quiet little hideaway for me. It’s good to get away from the hustle and busyness of the streets and just observe over a glass of champagne.
TIP On Nov 12th, they launched the incredible ‘Saturday Bottomless Brunch’. Go fill your proverbial boots!
Royal Festival Hall, Belvedere Rd, Lambeth, London SE1 8XX
020 7654 7800
4) Shoreditch House Rooftop Restaurant
Part of the private members club chain Soho House Group, urban Shoreditch House brings together the cream of the creative world. With a strict no business suits rule, expect to bump shoulders with some cool people. It’s lavender beds bring a sense of tranquility but don’t be fooled as some of the best nights can be had here with screaming laughter and drinks a plenty. Near to the pool, it’s a treat off the East London streets. As it’s a members club, you obviously do need a membership (or know the right people)! I spent most of my twenties avoiding it as it’s where some of my exes would hang out but none the less great to hang out with friends who are members.
TIP Kids menu is served until 9pm so go after that (personal preference).
5) Sushi Samba Terrace
You remember the glass lift at the end of Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory? Well, this is the place where you shoot up that glass lift right to the 38th floor. This place has been the restaurant of choice in the media circuit since launch and it never really fails to disappoint. Do note that they always have a huge waiting list so best to book a month (maybe two) in advance if you’re trying to get a Friday night or Saturday night dinner table. Unless you want the witching hour.
Menu is as you’d expect from a sensational sushi restaurant and the cocktails are worth sticking to for the entire night. The tree lights up and there are blankets to keep you warm (if the alcohol hasn’t done that already). Menu can be quite porky and lots of shellfish so if you’re Kosher or have other dietary requirements, do bear that in mind. Worth taking a date to or checking out for a special occasion.
TIP Don’t call at 6pm on a Thursday night for a table that same evening at 7pm. They’ll laugh, as I’ve experienced many a time.
6) The Stafford St James Courtyard
This was my best kept secret. Situated at The Stafford in St James, this courtyard is a gem. In high Summer it’s filled with friends chatting and laughing and drinking. Come Winter, the heated lamps keep you warm so you can enjoy your al fresco lunch time dining or your evening red wine and cigar. The restaurant inside is perfect and the food superb, followed by a nightcap outside you’re set. Dan and I visited here and had the best time, so much so that we can’t wait to go back and stay overnight. You may have seen my previous review here.
TIP Pay The American Bar a visit located inside the hotel. You won’t be disappointed!
16-18 St James’s Pl, St. James’s, London SW1A 1NJ
7) The Leather Bottle
Ok now you may have already heard of this as it’s always featured in a top guide. On Garrett Lane in Earlsfield is this wonderful historic pub that’s been doing business for around 300 years. If you’re ever venturing to South West London, The Leather Bottle is perfect come any season. In Winter though, The Leather Bottle completely overhauls their garden. Equipped with five ski chalets available to hire, each come kitted out with heaters and blankets to protect against the elements. The food is great, the beer is lovely and with something this unique, what’s stopping you?
TIP If it’s your thing, they host pub quizzes indoors or on November 24th, they’re hosting Frock Swap. Yes, you heard that right. Swapping is the new shopping ladies.
538 Garratt Lane, Earlsfield, London, SW17 0NY
What do you think, can you think of any cool London rooftop bars or terraces? Xx